Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes for Kitty!

 One year ago today, I fell in love.

One year ago today, I think I became a cat lady. I was NOT a cat lady ever before. I was more of a dog lover (sidenote: I still love dogs).

One year ago today, the boyfriend and I took a little trip to the MSPCA Angell animal shelter around the corner. We just wanted to "check out the place," see what the shelter had to offer, see what the process was to adopt. We were foolish.

One year ago today, this darling face stared up at me, cradled in my arms in the cat room. His eyes said "please take me home with you."

One year ago today, we signed some papers and we took him home.

I think pets are such an important part of our lives. They offer a kind of love that's different from human love but just as endearing. They don't care what you wear or what you say or where you live. They just want to be near you.

Our cat, Dot, is funny, handsome, mischievous, and just a bundle of joy. He's ALWAYS hungry (like mother, like feline).

Sometimes he makes me really mad. Like the 3 times he has ripped holes in our new windowshades because there was a moth taunting him. Or that one time when I was sound asleep and he dumped an entire glass of water on my head. Or the way he knocks over any decoration or cup or vase simply because it's there. Or all the holes he has made in the screens when he tries to get at the birds flitting around outside. For shame, kitty cat.

But when he isn't making me mad, he makes me laugh. Like when he yawns these big giant yawns (because staying home sleeping all day and then resting afterwards is hard work), or when he literally watches what's playing on the tv, or when he begs for chicken even though I'm cutting up carrots, or when he chases around his own furballs because he thinks it's a mouse, or when he jumps in the dryer.

So one year ago today we welcomed this handsome boy into our home and we couldn't be happier. And I thought the occassion called for something special. Cupcakes are always special. And since it's Thanksgiving (tomorrow!!) pumpkin cupcakes seemed like a logical choice.

Special pumpkin cupcakes for Dot's one year adopt-iversary and 2nd birthday!

You can mock me, but just this once.

Here's what you need for Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes (batter and icing adpated from Created-byDiane):

1 box german chocolate cake mix
1 1/4 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons or more to taste pumpkin pie spice
1 stick butter at room temperature
3 eggs

Here's what you do:

Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand-mixer until smooth. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Using an ice cream scoop to ensure even baking, fill each liner 3/4 of the way with the batter.
Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.
Let cool completely, then frost with Pumpkin Cream Cheese frosting.

What you need for the frosting:

4 oz. cream cheese (I used the 1/3 less fat variety)
1/2 stick margarine, softened
3 tablespoons skim milk
4 to 5 cups powdered sugar (I just add more powder or milk until the frosting is thick enough for my liking)
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree (leftover from above)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Here's what you do:

Cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
Beat in the remaining ingredients, adjusting your sugar and milk ratio as you go.

To frost the cupcakes, I just put the frosting in a ziplock back and cut one of the corner tips off (since I do not have piping bags). Swirl a generous dallop on top of the cupcake and sprinkle with festive non-pareilles!


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